Celebrate Frank Sinatra, a legendary performer that has stood the test of time long after his untimely death in 1998. He will be turn 100 on December 12 and actor, singer, recording artist, and Talent America’s 2001 Performer of the Year, Brian De Lorenzo will explore his life and timeless music with ‘Come Fly With Me: Brian De Lorenzo Celebrates Sinatra at 100’ at Club Café in Boston on Thursday, October 29. Click here for more information and for tickets!
Brian De Lorenzo talks about touring the world and what is in store at this exciting, upcoming concert.
Examiner: You have performed all over the world. What has been your favorite place to take the stage or your favorite performance in your travels?
Brian De Lorenzo: Three very different yet memorable performances come to mind. I was studying musical theatre at the State University of New York (SUNY) Fredonia. My first trip outside the US took me on a concert tour with the Fredonia Chamber Singers to Israel.
I still remember the amazing feeling at one particular concert in Rehoboth as I was singing the solo part of the American Spiritual ‘Ain’t Got Time to Die’ backed by the rest of the choir. Everything just clicked and I was on a kind of musical and spiritual “high.”
The second memory is from a tour of the Liz Swados musical, ‘Esther’ in Italy and Spain. After a performance in Palermo, Sicily, a large number of audience members remained in the theatre discussing the show well after the curtain came down. It was surprising the audience members knew the story so well and were intensely discussing it, especially since, as an American with a Roman Catholic education, I hadn’t even heard the bible story of Esther before I had done the show in Boston the previous year.
My third memory was recently at a concert in the beautiful 2,400-seat Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. Not only did I get to sing with my friends, the very talented Kathy St. George who was in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ on Broadway and Maureen Brennan, who was in ‘Candide’ on Broadway, I sang ‘My Way’ accompanied by a 2,500-pipe ‘Mighty Wurlitzer’ theatre organ. That’s not something that happens every day!
Examiner: The first time I saw you perform was in the ‘Upstage Lung Cancer’ benefit featuring the Rat Pack music last October. It was a great concert with smooth harmonies and for a good cause. What I love about your upcoming performance, ‘Come Fly With Me: Brian De Lorenzo Celebrates Sinatra at 100’ is your performance at Club Café in Boston on Thursday, October 29 is just one stop on a tour celebrating Sinatra’s big year. You will also take the stage twice in New York City in November and a couple of times in Puerto Vallarta in December. This is not just an exploration of his famous songs, but offers insight into Sinatra’s accomplished life. Please tell me how this idea came about and something that you know about Sinatra that others might not.
BD: About a year and a half ago, I was asked to come up with a list of songs for the ‘Upstage Lung Cancer’ (USLC) tribute benefit to Dean Martin and the Rat Pack scheduled for last November. As I was perusing song titles, I remembered a couple of years prior, I had had the idea of doing a show saluting some of the best known Italian-American singers since I’m also Italian-American.
The research for the USLC benefit gave me that extra push I needed into performing a Tony Bennett and Sinatra salute called ‘Sinatra, Tony, and Me’ at Scullers in Boston and the Metropolitan Room twice in New York last year. At the beginning of 2015, I was researching famous entertainers and songwriters who might be having important anniversaries this year. I saw that the 100th anniversary of Sinatra’s birth would be on December 12 and thought, “I can take the show I did last year, replace the Tony Bennett songs with Sinatra songs and we’ll have a Sinatra tribute show.”
The song, ‘Come Fly with Me’ would be in the show. Since it’s a song most people associate with Sinatra, it struck me as a good title. I performed it as part of ‘CabaretFest!’ Provincetown in June and to a standing-room-only crowd in Jamaica Plain in July.
Most people might not know that he had a great respect for other singers, specifically Mabel Mercer and Tony Bennett. “Everything I know, I learned from Mabel Mercer” and “For my money, Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business.”
Examiner: What is next after this tour? Working on new projects?
BD: We don’t have any set plans yet, but we’d really like to bring the show to more venues and cities. It’s really great music and I know people love it, so we’d like to share it with as many people as possible.
I’m currently rehearsing another benefit for Upstage Lung Cancer at the Lyric Stage on Tuesday, November 10. Not so surprisingly, it has a Sinatra theme as well! On Sunday, November 8, I’ll be participating in the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Boston Association of Cabaret Artists (BACA), of which I am a co-founder and past president, on my way home from my second performance of ‘Come Fly with Me’ at ‘Don’t Tell Mama’ in NYC.
We had a really great rehearsal for ‘Come Fly with Me’ the other night and thought it would be great to go into a recording studio and make a new CD! So, who knows? That could happen in the New Year. I’m always bouncing around ideas in my head about concepts for cabaret shows, concerts, and recordings so we’ll see which of those end up on a stage in the next year!
Click here for a closer look at the Sinatra songs featured in ‘Come Fly With Me: Brian De Lorenzo Celebrates Sinatra at 100’ on Thursday, October 29 at Club Cafe, 209 Columbus Ave in Boston, Massachusetts. Click here for tickets!